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Airbrushed photographs of celebrities with perfectly preened bodies staged in exotic locations are all over social media, but such flawless images have been described as damaging for the way they pressurise young people to meet unobtainable body-image standards.
Everyone of all ages is effected by celebrities, but often teenagers are the ones who are the most impacted. Being an adolescent can be tough, and it’s reassuring to have someone to look up to and follow in their footsteps. Many teens choose celebrities as their role models. This can be a positive or negative choice, depending on the celebrity. There are many stars in the media that tend to maintain a good reputation but there are an equal amount of stars that make parents shake their heads and hope their kids don’t idolize them , but there siblings Do and follow them too ….
In Reality television or either smart phone proves to be a factor that contributes to how teenagers think they should behave. “According to a study conducted by Huston and Wright at the University of Kansas, the only thing that kids spend more time doing than sleeping is watching tv or on smart phone to see shows” (Teens and Celebrities). But every time you turn on the TV or social media , it’s hard to find a television show that isn’t about celebrities. In reality television shows, smart phone clicks were celebrities are displayed in a negative manner, often shown doing drugs, partying, fighting, and engaging in sexual activities. Teenagers who are exposed to this believe that’s the proper way to act and start taking part in those activities themselves. They also start to form false ideals. For example, “one Australian study revealed that children who watched reality programming were significantly more likely to associate wealth, popularity and beauty as factors that contribute to happiness” (Bliss).
Lots of parents try to keep their kids from watching those shows and teaching their kids the right ways to act, but “in fact, some teens are more likely to listen to the words of their favorite celebrities than their own parents , , instead of teens learning from their parents how to be kind to others or how to do the dishes, teens are learning from stars how to throw a tantrum and how to get drunk.
Celebrities have a hurtful effect on the self esteem of teenagers. Celebrities are commonly associated with beauty and “perfect” bodies, and when teenagers see that, they want to look like them. It’s not uncommon that so many female teens have developed eating disorders while trying to attain a skinny body. “In a recent study by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), as many as 10 in 100 young women suffer from an eating disorder” (Chen). The media puts permanent reminders in our minds that we have to achieve the celebrities’ beauty and bodies. Headlines are plastered all over magazines with headlines like, “Get Kim Kardashion’s Bikini Bod!” or “How To Get Jennifer Lopez’s Flawless Makeup Look!” It’s no wonder why teenagers are so desperate to be like celebrities. Those articles make teenagers insecure about their looks. For example, “According to the National Eating Disorder Association, 42 percent of first- through third-grade girls say they want to be thinner, and 81 percent of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat. Even at very young ages, children get influenced by celebrities” (Chen). What teenagers don’t know when they see “perfect” stars on magazines is that those stars have been through hours of makeup, hair styling, clothes fittings, spray tans, and photoshop. Teenagers are trying to achieve a form of “beauty” that doesn’t even exist.
Celebrities are very popular and they could choose to help the world and make a difference. They have an option to choose to be a good role model for people of all ages. Unfortunately, many celebrities decide to do the exact opposite, and let themselves be displayed as fake and bad role models. Teenagers are vulnerable to their influences and can be lead down the wrong path. We can only hope that those celebrities will take a moment to stop caring about fame and think about the people they are leaving a mark on.